Africa CDC chief warns of “worrying” surge in Covid-19 cases in continent

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ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA - JANUARY 28: John Nkengasong, director of African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, holds a press conference on coronavirus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on January 28, 2020. (Photo by Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: John Nkengasong, director of African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, holds a press conference on coronavirus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Photo by Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The Africa CDC Director John Nkengasong on Monday warned of a “worrying” increase in coronavirus cases across the continent.

The continent is recording an estimated 10,000 cases per day, according to Nkengasong, stoking fears of a potential second wave of the pandemic as is being experienced in some parts of the world, like Europe.

“While AU Member States did well early on to slow COVID-19 transmission, we are seeing a worrying uptick in reported cases (~10,000 cases/day), across the continent,” Nkengasong tweeted.

As late as last month, the World Health Organization warned African countries to exercise caution regarding the coronavirus pandemic despite registering a downward trend in its curve in the last few months.

Africa has seen contrasting statistics in different parts with some countries reporting declining tallies while others are recording resurgence in the numbers of cases.

Several African governments have been reopening their borders and schools, and relaxing restrictions on movement and gatherings. However, there have been reports of citizens in countries violating the existing health protocols, as complacency sets, in leading to a rise in cases.

Authorities and health officials have urged people not to flout the regulations in place so as to avert a similar episode such as the ones happening in Europe or the United States, a call echoed by Nkengasong.

“Africa CDC continues to urge countries to remain vigilant to contain a potential 2nd wave,” he added.

According to the Africa CDC, Africa has reported 1,977,165 confirmed cases, 47,375 deaths and 1,664,801 recoveries, as of November 16.

The most COVID-19 affected African countries in terms of the number of positive cases include South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, and Ethiopia, figures from the Africa CDC showed.

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